All Talk and No Action Friday, July 18, 2008

Recently, I got a chance to catch Tehzeeb - a movie I have been longing to watch since ages.

I had read and heard loads of reviews on the movie. Yet, I remembered none since the movie is an old one now. Good for me, as I went ahead with an open mind.

I must say, I was greatly impressed. Khalid has always been known to direct simple, personal stories.

This one revolves around the estranged relationship between a mother (Shabana Azmi) and her daughter (Urmila Matondkar).

As the story unfolds, the viewer is taken into the peaceful, everyday lives of Tehzeeb and Salim (Arjun Rampal, in an understated and sleek performance). They are a happy couple who also look after Tehzeeb's mentally challenged sister Naazo (well portrayed by Dia Mirza) until one day, Begum Ruksana decides to pay her daughter a visit.

There is palpable excitement and longing on both sides as the protagonists wait to meet each other after long years. Yet, there are raw and hurtful emotions too, waiting to explode !

You see, Ruksana Begum has been the best the industry has seen. However, all the success has come at a price. She is held guilty in the eyes of her daughter - for ignoring her duties as a home-maker and a mother, for being a selfish, emotion-less woman, finally, for being the reason of her father's untimely death (played by Rishi Kapoor).

The story sees two strong-willed woman reason out, blame and fight for what they believe in.

Viewers are blessed with respite when the duo forget their differences, come together and share love and laughter like any parent-child would. However, not for long as there are always dark moments lurking to wash out the temporary paradise. The build up from an anxious wait to meet one's kin to the final explosion resulting in an endless blame game is interesting.

The movie plays on the premise of love being the most important legacy a parent can give to her child. One can't help but feel sad for a child's longing for love, attention and warmth while turning into a bitter, stubborn and a non-forgiving adult.

The movie is brutal, where it doesn't give it's protagonists a chance at redemption. One can only feel sad at a relationship gone awfully wrong.

Both, Shabana and Urmilla give spectacular and restrained performances. Their strength lies in the viewer not being able to decide who to favor and empathize with!

The movie does have a few glitches like forgettable songs, a slow pace and an irritating Diana Hayden. However, that shouldn't stop one from enjoying this otherwise well crafted and intelligent movie.

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